Elio Lannutti, an Italian senator, former journalist and activist against corruption, is asking many intelligent questions these days, about Panama, Martinelli, Mulino and the shady deal with helicopters and radar installations.
So Lannutti explains that these helicopters, radar installations, mapping services and other stuff have been sold to Panama at grossly inflated prices, then some patrol boats were thrown in as presents, and the question now is where all that surplus money went. The total sum paid was about $300 million.
Enters the scene one Paolo Pozzessere. He used to be - he recently resigned, supposedly - commercial director of Finmeccanica, which is the Italian company that sold all the military stuff. And, says senator Lannutti, "Pozzessere is doing business in Panama with 'Fabrega Molino & Mulino', the law firm of which the Panamanian National Security Minister José Raul Mulino was a member".
Now, remember, this is an Italian scandal, and with Italian-Panamanians, so it's all about family. And this Paolo Pozzessere has a son, Francesco Pozzessere, and he owns and/or runs a number of companies here in Panama. Many of these companies, La Estrella found out by checking the public registry, are being legally represented by Raúl Mulino's law firm. What's more, they started doing business together after the Finmeccanica contract had been signed.
Francesco Pozzessere's companies own Restaurant Divina in Casco Viejo, the boutique hotel Casa del Horno and companies called Colosseum Consultants and Colosseum Investments. Earlier, Pozzessere ran a company called "Enstar" which was active in Germany and the UK - "active" meaning that they were throwing money at projects.
Other than that, the group of Pozzessere companies appears to be without much tangible activity or products, which should raise all kind of red money laundering flags, under the circumstances. It would probably be a rewarding question to ask if multi-million dollar bribes and kickbacks were somehow laundered through the Colosseum and related corporations, with the assistance of beneficiary Raúl Mulino's law firm, right?
It'll be difficult to ask Francesco Pozzessere himself, though. Like Valter Lavitola, Berlusconi's bagman who brokered the deal and is now on the run for Italian justice, Pozzessere appears to have left Panama.
UPDATE: And we have another member of la famiglia, says La Prensa, so let's welcome Italian-Argentinean Gustavo Franchella, the representative of Selex in Panama, which sold us a bunch of hugely overpriced and outdated radar things.